These may be the last MARVEL titles that I review for awhile. At one point, I was feeling like I neglected the MARVEL books by focusing so much on DC NEW 52. That prompted my decision to follow closely the events of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN and report on them here. Now that things are wrapping up, I’m feeling a little overweight and need a change to my diet. I’m not saying that I will no longer review any MARVEL books here. I’m just taking a break. After reading the descriptions of the new MARVEL NOW titles in PREVIEWS - - I haven’t ordered a single book. While some of the writer/art teams seem interesting there is nothing here than I consider a must-read. I’m going to see what books the critics and fans are favoring in the coming months. Then, maybe in six months time I’ll pick up one of the trade paperback collections. We’ll see. In the meantime, maybe a different BC Refugee will pick up the mantle and keep you informed of all things Marvel?
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #8 (December 2012) Brian Michael Bendis, writer. Mark Bagley, penciler. Danny Miki, inker. Paul Mounts, colors. VC’s Clayton Cowles, letterer.
This is the wrap-up to the first story arc and the final issues scripted/drawn by the Bendis/Bagley team. I will miss that. I truly believe that some of Bagley’s finest work is on display right here. It was a fun first run with the story. Who knew that a comic created to capitalize on the market potential of the now-familiar super-heroes who were featured in THE AVENGERS movie could be so entertaining.? Bendis didn’t waste the opportunity to tell one more Avengers story free of the continuity demands holding down the other Avengers books he was working on. (And, now freed from - - and probably just in time. I think he was due for an Avengers burnout otherwise.) The inclusion of The Guardians Of The Galaxy (another future movie property) into the mix was a little disturbing at first, but still handled well. My only quibble is that not enough time was devoted to the new Zodiac team, who seem to have been inserted at the beginning simply as s lead-in to the bigger and badder Thanos.
In a surprising turn of events in Issue #8, we learn that the Cosmic Cube that Thanos is struggling to control is just a cheap knock-off developed by the Armed Forces. Once Tony Stark is able to analyze the details closely it’s a quick trick for he and Reed Richards to reverse-engineer things, neutralize Thanos, and kick him into the waiting hands of The Elders. In the epilogue, The Brotherhood Of The Badoon are miffed that their big battleship was trashed and declare war against Planet Earth. The last page lets us know that this is . . . . to be continued in . . . . GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY . . . . debuting as a Marvel Now! title in February 2013 courtesy of Bendis and McNiven. Sigh.
A VS X: CONSEQUENCES #1 (December 2012) Kieron Gillen, script. Tom Raney, art. Jim Charalampiois, colors. VC’s Clayton Cowles, letters.
I like the premise behind this five-issue weekly series = show the consequences of a major war that just occurred in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN and detail some of the changes ahead while dealing with the devastation and despair, etc. The contents page sums it up very well- - - - “Human and Mutant kind have been saved, but not without great consequences. Cyclops has been imprisoned, many remain fugitives, and entire nations lie in ruin . . . . “ Damn straight.
So, I read Issue #1 expecting something of great consequence to occur but not so much does.
Wakanda has declared war on Atlantis after Namor almost single-handedly trashed the kingdom. Any mutants of any type are no longer welcome in Wakanda. Cyclops is now confined to an undisclosed U.S. prison where a new restraining collar for mutants is tested on him. Hope wants to be normal and walk away from both the Avengers and X-Men. No one can locate Magneto. Cap thinks that only Cyclops can persuade the fugitive mutants to come in, and tries to enlist Wolverine to help convince Cyclops to help. The reason to read this issue is the exchange between the two - - well played, it seemed real, and true to the heart of both characters. The other reason to read this book is to check out the interesting art from Tom Raney.
A VS X: CONSEQUENCES #2 (December 2012) Kieron Gillen, script. Steve Kurth, pencils. Allen Martinez, inks. Jim Charalampiois, colors. VC’s Clayton Cowles, letters.
A different artist takes over with Issue #2, but still worth a look. Kurth’s style is similar, but different from Raney. Both feature clean and crisp styles, with panels that have enough going on but seem more free of clutter than other books.
The first half of the book contains the prison meeting between Wolverine and Scott Summers/Cyclops and while it drags out a bit (for dramatic effect) it’s nicely done. Best line from Logan to Scott: “Only you can take all the fun out of wanting to murder someone you hate.” The other prisoners hate Cyclops and make moves to exterminate him. His fellow mutant prisoner just discovered his powers. And I’m thinking those powers will help Cyclops break out before he can be martyred inside the walls.
I missed my chance to pick up Issue #3 (thanks to Hurricane Sandy) and have since decided that I really don’t need to read this series. I just have to pick up the latest issue of PREVIEWS to read what happens two months from now when the consequences have been realized. Okay.